Chelsea vs Liverpool
| Tuesday, March 3rd |
FA Cup | Stamford Bridge
7:45PM BST / 2:45PM EST
It’s a rare occasion for Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool, having to bounce back from a defeat, and, on paper, they could hardly have had a much tougher game in which to do so, taking the trip to Stamford Bridge for an FA Cup clash with Chelsea.
Frank Lampard’s side had started the season off fantastically, with the youthful squad matching perfectly the manager’s ambitious, attacking style of play. In recent months, however, both these factors have come back to haunt the Blues, as the gung-ho tactics have failed to protect the inexperienced players when things have not gone their way.
In short, Chelsea have not strung together two wins in a row since the start of January, and have only managed one from their last five. Some of this is undoubtedly down to injuries — perhaps brought on by the team’s excessively high-energy style — and Tammy Abraham, N’Golo Kanté, Christian Pulisic, and Callum Hudson-Odoi are all set to miss out tomorrow night, with Andreas Christensen a doubt.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Mané, Firmino, Salah
For the first time this season, we are likely to see Klopp put out a full-strength XI for a domestic cup, with Harvey Elliott’s inclusion in tomorrow’s UEFA Youth League squad a strong hint that the FA Cup has now proceeded far enough that it will receive the full firepower of the Merseysiders.
Joe Gomez will likely return to the side following Saturday’s Dejan Lovren disasterclass, hopefully bringing back the magic his partnership with Virgil van Dijk has produced in the past.
Naby Keïta will miss out again due to a sore hip, joining Jordan Henderson in the stands, and reducing Klopp’s options in midfield, indicating that some combination of Fabinho, Georginio Wijnaldum, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Adam Lallana, while a returning James Milner could be a surprise inclusion.
Xherdan Shaqiri remains out of the picture, and unless Divock Origi has done something dramatic in training, the front three will make only their second ever start together in the FA Cup.
What the Managers Said
Jürgen Klopp: “We don’t really think about it, it’s not more pressure or less pressure than before, it’s just the last 16 of the FA Cup and we want to go through. That’s the plan and that’s what hopefully everybody can see.”
Frank Lampard: “We would expect them to put out a strong team. They have done well in the last year, and their defeat won’t make it any easier.”
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Assistant referees: Lee Betts, Sian Massey-Ellis
Fourth official: Graham Scott
VAR: Andre Marriner, Derek Eaton
Kickoff is set for 7:45PM GMT/2:45PM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV.
In the meantime, and as always, we’ll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it’s released, our live matchday thread, and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.